Barcelona vs Real Madrid Betting Prediction, Odds & Tips from 22Bet

By Game Yetu: Wednesday, December 18th 2019 at 19:44 GMT +3 | Football

The biggest clash of them all is upon us once again as Barcelona host Real Madrid in front of a fired-up crowd of Camp Nou expected to fill more than 90.000 seats, creating the hostile atmosphere for Los Blancos like no other. 

People tend to say that football is more than a game, and this time the quote really holds value. One of the premium Kenya betting sites 22Bet offers a detailed preview of the upcoming match.

The independence movement hasn’t been this strong in Catalonia in a while. The protesters are swarming the streets daily, looking for their political rights and independence. On the other hand, the centralistic government of Madrid is firmly against these measures, thus they imprisoned 13 separatist Catalan politicians. This caused riots in Barcelona, resulting in the rescheduling of El Clasico from October 26 to December 18, among other things. 

The Catalans look at Real Madrid as the representer of the system and the government, and a win would bring much more than just three points on Wednesday. No matter what someone on the outside thinks, Barcelona is the best symbol of Catalan independence. Thus, Lionel Messi & co. carry not just the club, but the whole ideology on their backs in El Clasico.

Now that we’ve absorbed the circumstances and the magnitude of this El Clasico, let’s look at the on-pitch performances from both teams and how they could line up.

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Barcelona

FC Barcelona entered the season with Ernesto Valverde, despite many fans asking for his resignation. These requests got a lot worse at the beginning of the season, where Barca couldn’t buy a win away from home. The early injuries of Lionel Messi & Luis Suarez didn’t help either. 

However, since the duo returned, the Barca is back on track, mostly due to Messi’s magic. Messi did what Messi does - he’s scored 12 league goals and provided six assists already. Antoine Griezmann is blending in with the team better and better as the time goes on, but his efficiency didn’t suffer from the adaptation phase given that the French winger scored six goals to date. 

Russian Roulette in the midfield

The midfield is where the real trouble begins for Valverde. Frenkie de Jong is very consistent in his performances, providing incredible technique, stability, and defensive presence at all times. However, everyone else in the midfield is expendable. Arthur is struggling with the issues unrelated to the pitch, which saw him excluded from the squad more than once this season. To top it all off, the Brazilian suffered an injury recently that will see him definitely miss El Clasico. 

Ivan Rakitic was a dead man walking at Barca, when suddenly, he started against Dortmund and kept his place in the team ever since, resurrecting himself. Sergio Busquets is yet another inconsistent performer whose performances vary from match to match. Arturo Vidal and Carles Arena are left behind, but the La Masia graduate seems to be making strides, as he saw the pitch in three consecutive matches for Blaugrana. 

The injuries of Jordi Alba and Nelson Semedo damaged the team severely. While Semedo was replaced by Sergi Roberto who performed well, Alba’s replacement, Junior Firpo, didn’t live up to his reputation from Betis, throwing away his dream opportunity and upsetting live betting enthusiasts.

All four center-backs will be ready for Madrid, with Pique and Lenglet being almost certain to start. Marc-Andre ter Stegen is between the posts, and seemingly getting even better. The German wasn’t content with just world-class saves week in and week out, so he noted two assists this season already! 

Fati the savior

In case things go South, Valverde will look to the bench, where Ansu Fati could be the primary option.  The youngster provided a spark every time he came on off the bench. Seven consecutive wins cut by a Sociedad draw provide a reason for optimism, especially with the perfect streak at Camp Nou, where Barca won all seven of their La Liga matches this season.

Real Madrid

Los Blancos opened their pre-season awfully. Zinedine Zidane seemed to be going nowhere with his ideas in the summer, which caused a big 7-3 defeat to Atletico Madrid. However, ever since the season started, it’s been a completely different story. 

The French manager realized that his team is lacking in the attacking organization, so he tightened things up at the back, focusing on not conceding first, relying on the individual talent upfront. This paid off dividends, with Real Madrid now tied at the top with Barca, having lost just a single match this season. The solidity at the back is provided mostly by Thibaut Courtois who lifted his form recently, helped by Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane. 

However, the crucial part of the team - at least defensively - is Casemiro. Ever since he returned from his vacation, it’s a completely different team. In the meantime, Zidane discovered Federico Valverde who is now a key player in the squad. Toni Kroos usually fills the midfield trio who function together excellently for now. 

The full-backs are of vital importance, too. Ferland Mendy will probably start as Marcelo is injured, while Dani Carvajal will fight battles with Griezmann on the other side. Benzema should lead the attack, helped by Vinicius and Gareth Bale. 

How to stop Messi?

All things aside, there’s one question in Madrid flowing over everybody’s head - how do we stop Messi? The probable idea will be to smother the midfield with Casemiro, Kroos, and Valverde taking away the central zones. This will require the wingers to pull back in the middle, perhaps losing out the attacking threat, but providing more solidity in the back. The right side will be tested - Alba and Messi’s connection is well-known by now, and now Griezmann is there, too, so Carvajal will need the help of whoever starts as the right-winger. 

Don’t expect Zidane’s side to have possession - they’ll let Barcelona take it, looking to strike through combining Vinicius and Benzema on the left, with Mendy overlapping when the opportunity arises. 

Prediction

The clash of the titans at its best, and now the clash of ideologies, too. A huge match is ahead of us, with Barcelona the firm favorite to keep the three points in the Camp Nou as they have all important factors on their side.

Prediction: Barcelona vs Real Madrid - 1. Use 22Bet’s welcome bonus when betting on El Classico!

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